The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries launched its online National Single Window (NSW) on May 26, a move which has been met with scepticism from key private sector players who have expressed doubts about the usability of the new digital system.
While presiding over the workshop and implementation of the NSW, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon declared that the online system will help “foster an equitable business and investment environment, competitive edge, transparency, accountability and legal and technical integrity for both domestic and foreign investors”.
He announced that four units that will be integrated into the online NSW. They are the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production, the General Directorate of Agriculture, the Fisheries Administration, and the Department of Administrative Affairs.
Meav Soktry, president of the Cambodia Food Manufacture Association, which provides technical assistance and legal advice to food industry enterprises in the Kingdom, said that the shift to a digital system would potentially make the documentation process easier for many, but emphasised the need for ample training on how to use and take advantage of these initiatives.
“This online launch is a step forward, but we do not [yet] know how much the private sector can benefit” from the system, he said.
Kann Kunthy, vice-president of Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd, one of the Kingdom’s main milled rice exporters, said the implementation of the NSW was at the moment “unclear”, and warned that it could go the way of the Certificate of Origin (CO), which has been plagued by technical design issues and caused confusion amongst many users.
The online NSW’s “objectives are good, but [I would] wait and see if the implementation is possible or not. Previously, the CO was also launched online, but it has not worked well because people do not know what to click on” to progress their applications, he said.